Democrats roll out ‘blueprint’ for Nevada |

Democrats roll out ‘blueprint’ for Nevada

Democratic legislators held a press conference on Thursday to roll out what they described as their “Nevada Blueprint empowering hardworking Nevada families.”

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, said the plan is designed to “pick up where leaders in 2015 left off.”

The 2015 session enacted major education programs and funding initiatives but Frierson said that’s not the only issue they plan to tackle this session.

“Success should not be reserved for the rich and powerful,” Frierson said. “Nevadans should be empowered to achieve the American dream.”

He said the goal is to make the state a leader in technology, advanced manufacturing and energy.

This session, Frierson said, they’ll raise the minimum wage and ensure every Nevadan has access to affordable health care.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said they’ll continue improving the state’s education system by repealing mandated high-stakes testing and expanding school choice in public schools.

He said they’ll work to improve access to higher education including the universities, community colleges and vocational schools.

He said they’ll introduce legislation to require equal pay for equal work, sick leave for workers, preserve access to health care particularly for women and protect pensions and benefits of workers. He and Frierson said the blueprint includes protecting all Nevadans from discrimination.

Asked if they were open to calls for changes in the Public Employees Retirement System, Ford said, “absolutely not,” and Frierson said, “I don’t see a reason to fix what’s not broken.”

As for the rising pressure to have the federal government turn over more land to the state, Ford said Democrats favor “keeping public lands in public hands.”

They didn’t explain how those programs would be paid for.